Course Syllabus


Welcome to the German 41/42 course! I look forward to the year with you, and I hope you are excited about taking German 4. Please take a minute to look at our German 4 course syllabus (also linked below). Below are my office hour links and times.

OFFICE HOURS: Office hours are by appointment only. I am free the following blocks for extra help.

Blocks: BLUE BLOCK / PURPLE BLOCK (by appointment only)

After school: Mondays (2:30-3:30)


Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Frau Ellis

German 4 Syllabus (Text of syllabus copied below)

What to expect:

German 41/42 is a fast-paced, intense and exciting year of German study.  Students are exposed to authentic German literature and film through the study of such topics as immigration and integration, the Nazi period and the Cold War period in Germany.  Students will learn to speak, listen, read and write about various literary, cultural and historical concepts--in German!  Students will complete and participate in discussions, guided conversations, presentations and projects. Although German 41/42 does not tackle a lot of new grammar, students are expected to use and master all grammar from years 1-3 as well as the few new concepts taught in German 41/42.  Although German 41/42 is a rigorous course, students enjoy the course and always feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment after completing it. My goal for all of us this year is to grow in our understanding and appreciation of the German language and culture as well as to have a LOT of fun!


German 41/42 is taught exclusively in German. Students are expected to speak German to each other as well as to the teacher. All questions, opinions, answers etc should be posed and answered in German. Speaking in German both with the class as a whole as well as with individual peers during group/partner work makes up a large portion of the participation grade at the end of the term. 


There are no textbooks in German 41/42. Instead, students will use full-text stories, films, articles from magazines or accredited online sources, short videos and short stories. Aside from one easy-reader, all texts and films are in the original version--written and intended for native German speakers.


Because there is no textbook for German 41/42, I require students to have and bring a notebook to school everyday exclusively for German. In lieu of a textbook, students will receive one Kurspaket from me for each unit as well as a copy of each story we are reading. 


Homework is not generally assigned in the German 41/42 classroom. Instead of homework, I ask students to remain in the target language 100% of the time. If they are unable to do this, I will return to assigning daily homework. However, there will be times that we cannot get through all the readings in class. On these occasions, students will have to finish the readings at home.

Tardiness and Attendance:

Per school policy, 1-3 tardies will earn you 60-minute detentions. Four or more class cuts will result in a loss of credits from the class. Please see the student handbook for more information about these policies.

Grading Policy:

Grades in German 4 consist of achievement and performance assessments as well as homework and class engagement. Within each term, homework, active engagement and achievement assessments (grammar and vocabulary quizzes) make up 10% of the grade, performance assessments (interpretive, interpersonal, presentational) make up 90% of the grade. For more detailed information about these percentages, please see the chart below. In addition to these breakdowns within a term, the CML department also has a sequential grading policy. The term weights are as follows: Term 1--14%; Term 2--22%; Term 3--29%; Term 4--35%. There will be NO Final Exam in this class. In addition, each performance assessment within a term is worth slightly more than the assessment before it—in keeping with the sequential grading policy. You can read more about this policy in the student handbook.

In addition to the grading system, the WHS CML department uses rubrics aligned with the three modes of communication: interpersonal, presentational and interpretive. The rubrics can all be found at the beginning of each Course Packet. 

Instructor Information:

If you have questions about the course, the homework, the grading or anything regarding German 41/42, please email me. My email address is: I will do my best to answer within 1 work day. If you would like to call me, my direct line is: (781) 446-6210 x4334. In addition to this contact information, students can also find everything they need to know about their course on our canvas classroom site. Students are also always welcome to stop by my room (334) at the high school with questions or concerns.

  Grading Category Weights and descriptors:

Category Weights and Descriptors for German 41/42


Presentational Communication

·     One-way speaking and/or writing done individually

Interpretive Communication

·     One-way reading, listening or viewing tasks in the target language

Interpersonal Communication

·     Two-way speaking and writing tasks that are completed and/or performed in the target language with another member of the class (this can be face-to-face, online, synchronous or asynchronous)


Language Use, Active Engagement, Achievement/effort Assessments

·      Memorized, “learned” material (forms, grammar, vocabulary)

·      Completion of homework

·      Use of the target language

·      Readiness for class (on time with necessary materials)




The CML department will be adapting the following changes to its grading policy for this school year:

  1. Student grades will be based 90% on communication (which is a combination of interpretive, interpersonal and presentational work) and 10% on Active Engagement.  
  2. Students will be able to earn the grades below on individual assessments. The breakdown is as follows: 



Student’s learning shows in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond the targeted performance.

Student performance consistently and solidly fits within the grade range.

Student performance shows solid evidence of that grade range, but not all of the time. There is some breakdown within some element(s) of performance in that grade range, but not to the extent that it would warrant the lower letter grade.





Student’s learning meets the targeted performance.





Student’s learning shows the simpler aspects of the targeted performance, or has some important errors or omissions.





Student’s learning demonstrates only partial ability or is incomplete.




  1.  Although individual assessments will only earn the grades above,, term/semester grades will be a mathematical calculation of the grades they have earned on their individual assessments throughout the term/semester and will not necessarily be limited to the grades above. 
  2. No extra credit will be offered at any point throughout this year.
  3. Meeting the performance target for the course will earn a student a B grade.
  4. The CML department will still adhere to sequential grading in which assessments throughout a term or semester will increase in weight as the term/semester progresses (meaning a student’s most recent assessment will carry the most weight).
  5. Grades/points given for achievement assessments (or non-performance assessments) such as homework, effort/engagement in class, target language use (except as assessed through performance), vocabulary quizzes etc will be limited to 10% of their term/semester/year grade.